Goodman grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, in an Orthodox Jewish family with six brothers and two sisters. He began playing basketball at five years of age, but he first garnered national attention as a junior in high school, averaging 35.4 points per game for the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore. He earned recognition in Sports Illustrated and was interviewed by ESPN, 60 Minutes and Fox Sports. In 11th grade, he was ranked the 25th-best high school player in the country. He was dubbed the "Jewish Jordan", nicknamed JJ, a title he said he has been trying to downplay ever since.
Goodman received a scholarship to the University of Maryland, which had one of the top-ranked basketball teams in the country. He said that the news of his plans to go to Maryland attracted over 700 media requests that week. The team's schedule of practices and games meant having to play on Friday nights and Saturdays, against the rules of Orthodox Judaism, so he declined Maryland's offer.
Goodman then accepted a scholarship from nearby Towson University. Goodman was the first freshman to start at Towson in eleven seasons. He averaged 6 points, 4 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game in his freshman year in 2000–2001, and was awarded the coach's award for his performance on the court and in the classroom. Goodman continued at Towson for his sophomore campaign until December 2001, when Goodman filed a complaint that the newly hired coach allegedly assaulted him 
Goodman then fulfilled a dream of his by moving to Israel and signing a 3-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv on July 22, 2002. To get more playing time, he was loaned to Giv'at Shmuel for the 2002–03 season, and then played for Elitzur Kiryat Ata in the 2003–04 season.
Goodman went on to serve in the Israeli Defense Force, a requirement for all Israeli citizens. He suffered a knee injury that required major surgery. After nine months of intensive physical therapy, he beat the odds and went back to Giva't Shmuel to fulfill his contract for the 2005–06 season.
Still recovering from his injury, Goodman dropped down to Liga Leumit to play for Maccabi Shoham. In his first two games, he played more than 20 minutes and scored close to 20 points a game. But in December 2006, Goodman's left knee gave out again and his doctors ordered him to undergo weeks of physical therapy. He did not get to play again until March 2007. In late 2007, Goodman moved back to Maryland to play for the Maryland Nighthawks of the newly formed Premier Basketball League (the league began play in January 2008). In his first game he suffered a complex dislocation of his finger which required surgery and a year of physical therapy.
Since retiring from playing in 2009, Tamir has established his reputation as a sought-after motivational speaker, coach, and educator. He is also the founder and director of the non-profit Coolanu Israel, creator and CEO of Sport Strings Tzitzit, partner in the Omri Casspi Basketball Camps, author of The Jewish Jordan's Triple Threat, and the inventor of Zone190. Tamir is a former soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces, holds a B.A. in communications, and is the father of four kids.
- Tamir Goodman, The Jewish Jordan's Triple Threat
- "Sacred Hoops". SLAM Magazine. January 25, 2008. Archived from the original on January 28, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
- Edgerton, Nathan (February 9, 2007). "'Jewish Jordan' speaks on balancing basketball with Orthodox faith". Daily Princetonian. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
- Wong, Edward (December 15, 2001). "No Penalties For Towson's New Coach". New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- Jacobs, Phil (July 25, 2002). ""Jewish Jordan" sees himself as part of Divine plan, heads to the Holy Land". Jewish World Review. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
- Maccabi Haifa signs the 'Jewish Jordan' for next season Haaretz, July 30, 2008